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The Cottage at Rosella Cove

The Cottage at Rosella Cove 2

by Sandie Docker
Publication Date: 08/01/2019
5/5 Rating 2 Reviews
RRP  $32.99 $26.75

The second heart-warming and charming novel from Sandie Docker, set in the small Australian coastal town of Rosella Cove.

Why had the house stayed empty so long? Why had it never been sold?


Nicole has left her city life for the sleepy town of Rosella Cove, renting the old cottage by the water. She plans to keep to herself – but when she uncovers a hidden box of wartime love letters, she realises she’s not the first person living in this cottage to hide secrets and pain.


Ivy’s quiet life in Rosella Cove is tainted by the events of World War II, with ramifications felt for many years to come. But one night a drifter appears and changes everything. Perhaps his is the soul she’s meant to save.


Charlie is too afraid of his past to form any lasting ties in the cove. He knows he must make amends for his tragic deeds long ago, but he can’t do it alone. Maybe the new tenant in the cottage will help him fulfil a promise and find the redemption he isn’t sure he deserves.

Welcome to the cottage at Rosella Cove, where three damaged souls meet and have the chance to rewrite their futures.

Adult & contemporary romance
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Sandie Docker

Sandie Docker grew up in Coffs Harbour, and first fell in love with reading when her father introduced her to fantasy books as a teenager.

Her love of fiction began when she first read Jane Austen for the HSC, but it wasn't until she was taking a translation course at university that her Mandarin lecturer suggested she might have a knack for writing – a seed of an idea that sat quietly in the back of her mind while she lived overseas and travelled the world.

Sandie first decided to put pen to paper (yes, she writes everything the old-fashioned way before hitting a keyboard) when living in London. Now back in Sydney with her husband and daughter, she writes every day.

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Customer Reviews

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  • The Cottage at Rosella Cove

    by on

    Having left Sydney and her fiancé Mark behind, Nicole finds a place to rent for six months in the seaside town of Rosella Cove. In return for free rent, the old cottage was supposed to need some minor renovations. But what she finds is in need of more than just a few minor repairs. Undaunted Nicole sets to work and along the way she gets a bit of help from Mandy, her husband Trevor, the local handyman Danny and others. When Nicole uncovers a box of wartime love letters tucked away behind the fireplace, she is intrigued and curious. She wants to know more about Ivy, the woman who once lived in this cottage and her husband Tom. Nicole learns if Ivy’s love and her deep loss as well as her friendship with a drifter who becomes a friend. That person is Charlie, who lives in the boathouse nearby. Charlie has pain and secrets buried in his past. He is a curmudgeonly loner, yet somehow Nicole finds a way to connect with this elderly man. Can Nicole let go of her past and the pain and make a life here? Can Charlie find the redemption he doesn’t feel he deserves? Can Nicole get back to writing that has eluded her since her first novel Tide was published?
    Having read two of this author’s other novels I was keen to get hold of this one. It does not disappoint. I loved getting to know Nicole, Mandy, Danny and all the others of Paradise Cove. The town’s inhabitants are warm hearted and generous in their acceptance of Nicole. Maybe that is a little idealised idea of country town friendliness but I was prepared to go along with it. It is fiction after all. And it works because the characters are so alive and interesting. Nicole even manages to get herself onside with the Rangers, the local footy team. Okay, for this AFL fan it was the wrong code of footy but I was still happy to read about this rugby loving team.
    This book took me through a range of emotions, including a few tears, as I lived through it with the characters. It is unashamedly a feel good read and right at this moment I couldn’t think of anything better to read. I started it and just wanted to keep on reading and raced through it. It left me feeling good at the end. So glad I bought this one. It is a delight to read. A book of love, friendship, hope, overcoming hard times and starting over after trouble, I adored it. Another highly recommended read by Sandie Docker is fast becoming a favourite author. And loved the bright cheery cover as well.

  • A superb read.

    by on

    “’If you knew who I really was, you wouldn’t be wasting your energy.’
    ‘I may not know who you were, but I reckon I know who you are.’”

    The Cottage at Rosella Cove is the second novel by Australian author, Sandie Docker. When recently-published author, Nicole Miller comes to Rosella Cove, she’s trying not to think about the last few years of her life. She’s here to escape all that. She has a six-month lease on a coastal cottage, rent-free as long as she does some minor restoration work. But the reality is daunting. It’s been unlived-in (except by a possum) since Ivy Wilson died, forty years ago, and Nicole may have overstated her renovation skills. She has little choice, however, arriving penniless and with a bad case of writer’s block, so she knuckles down.

    Soon enough she runs into Charlie, a taciturn old man apparently living in the nearby boatshed, who clearly does not want to socialise (and maybe that suits Nicole too). Other members of the town are at the opposite end of the social interaction scale: at Trevor’s Tradies, Mandy proves to be a chatty busy-body who seems to know everything and everyone and is, before long, barging in without invitation. She does bring with her an entourage of willing helpers whose assistance Nicole finds herself gratefully accepting. It seems the town wants this restoration done, and done well.

    There’s a lot of hard work, but Nicole is rewarded by a fascinating find: a carved shell box filled with letters Ivy wrote to her husband over seventy years earlier. Other hints and mentions of Ivy’s life see Nicole succumbing to breaking the seals and reading these private letters, limiting herself, with remarkable restraint, to one each day.

    Three basic narratives tell the story: present day events are told from Nicole’s (and occasionally Charlie’s) perspective; the events that drove Nicole from the city are revealed when certain things force her to recall her toxic relationship with lawyer, Mark Avery; and Ivy’s letters chat informally about her life, always including some town gossip. Slowly, in hints and clues and tiny traces, the mystery that surrounds the enigmatic hermit in the boatshed is unveiled.

    Docker’s characters (obviously except for the psychopath) are appealing, for all their faults and failings, and it’s satisfying to see them overcome the weaknesses that hold them back. As with The Kookaburra Creek Café, Docker’s small town has a genuine sense of community, of kindness and support that, despite the gossip and the lack of privacy, make it a place to which it would be a joy to belong. Docker’s second novel may well cement her place as the queen of the Aussie feelgood novel. A superb read.